Text The Times 870-225-1456

I read the Jan 27th Our View article and agree with its title. I have a permit and almost always have a gun on me. My question is could you ask our area city police chiefs and sheriff what their opinion is on that article. I also would like to know their interpretation of Act 746 and open carry as they are the ones who enforce laws in our country. I enjoy the text the times section and look forward to their response. [Editor’s Note: Passed in 2013, Act 746 aimed to clarify the rules for carrying a concealed handgun. Supporters of the legislation sought to remove any prohibition on openly carrying a handgun except for a few places (schools and airports mostly). However, interpretation of the law varies depending on who you ask. Both former Governor Mike Beebe and former Attorney General Dustin McDaniel both said they believed the law did not allow open carry. The first real test of the law came in 2014, when a man openly wore a pistol into a Searcy Walmart, causing a kerfluffle with some customers and employees. An off-duty police officer confronted the man and no charges were filed, however. Recently, current Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, asked about the law during an interview, said Act 746 allowed handguns to be carried, unless it was with intent to harm another person, which is, in fact, exactly what the wording of the law plainly says “carrying a weapon” is an “offense” only “if he or she possesses a handgun, knife, or club on or about his or her person, in a vehicle occupied by him or her, or otherwise readily available for use with a 34 purpose to attempt to unlawfully employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person.” I spoke to Sheriff Mike Allen on the subject, and he agreed that, despite efforts to clarify the issue, “it’s still being challenged, and the waters are still pretty muddy.” He said that locally, officers are told to handle each situation on a case-by-case basis. He suggested anyone wishing to carry a weapon go ahead and secure a concealed-carry permit. “You might still get arrested,” he said, “but then you’ll have the law to argue.” Allen also noted that most states have a reciprocal recognition of a state-issued concealed-carry permit. I guess the real answer is that currently, there is no real answer]

*** How did we allow West Memphis to tax our groceries @ 1.5 and Crittenden county @ 2.75 percent, in additonal 5.75 tax on top, bringing total to 16.50 on groceries now? Seems a bit much, don’t you agree? Thanks DRA [Editor’s Note: I know I went to Marion (just kidding… they have excellent math teachers) but the figures you provide come out to 10 percent. The actual state sales tax on groceries (that is, from the grocery store, not restaurants) 1.5 percent. The county tax rate (as of Jan. 1, 2016) is 2.75 percent. The West Memphis tax rate is 1.5 percent, bringing the total sales tax on groceries locally to 5.75 percent, which is actually the lowest in the county (Crawfordsville, Earle and Marion all have a 2.0 percent city sales tax. If you are actually talking about restaurant dining, then yes, the state, county, local and “hamburger” (1.5 percent A&P) tax adds up to 16.5 percent… which really makes me want to just eat at home]

*** Are we going to get an update on the state trooper that hit the kid or are we just going to pretend like it didn’t happen? [Editor’s Note: At least you didn’t use the old stand-by “cover-up” to ask. The trooper was in court last week for a plea hearing. He pled not guilty. He’ll be back in court March 3]

*** Ok time newspaper there was a murder last week. Why come the paper. And New didn’t hear about it what the cover-up about how is this not news in our city. Who got that much pull in the county [Editor’s Note: The West Memphis Police Department usually only releases information about ongoing cases when there is a need for information from the public, such as developing a suspect or seeking the whereabouts on a person of interest. This was not the case in this instance. I will give you the same information we already published in the Jan. 27 edition of the times: Marco Williams, a 27 year-old black male from West Memphis was arrested on Jan. 22, 2016, on the 300 Block of S. 9th St., and charged with Capital Murder/Homicide. If you need more, he was arraigned in District Court on those charges and awaits the next phase in the legal process in the Crittenden County Detention Center. I hope this was enough to dispell any concerns of a “cover-up”]

*** Glad to have hospital how will u get to it one way street go all way around. [Editor’s Note: I’m hoping that long before it actually opens, we’ll get a map or whatever showing us all the ins-and-outs, but just looking at the rendering, I’d guess that there would be access from Marion coming off of North 7th Street/Highway77 and access from West Memphis coming off of the Service Road/7th Street. Once the connection between Southland Drive and North 7th is completed, it will probably provide an additional access point from the north]

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